Current State of Teas from Japan
The tragedy of 3/11/2011 in Japan resulted in a great amount of radiation contamination, most of which happened during the initial three days of the event*, yet mostly contained within a 100 mile radius, and severely within a 30 mile radius.
The bulk of the damage was to the top soil - contamination up to 10 inches deep (in the most severely hit zone) and roughly 3 - 5 inches deep in most other affected areas. However, the damage to areas further distanced away was minimal. In many areas, no detection of radiation (beyond normal ambient) can be found.
Since there have been so many widespread rumors going on for years now that Japan’s tea is ‘done’ and ‘ruined forever’, while feeling intuitively that this is NOT the case, it was time to research for myself, and source some clean, organic, pure, uncontaminated Tea plantations in Japan.
Also, to aid our awareness, Japanese friends of ours near Fukushima who operate a non-profit organization - called TETO TETO for testing agricultural products independently from the (flawed) government process have helped steer us in the right directions. (see also this LINK for more info about this organization and our connection to them).
To my ultimate joy (and relief), we discovered at least 3 locations with pristine plantations 100% free of any contaminants, worthy of importing their Tea - two different ancient plantations which have also never employed the use of chemical fertilizers or sprays and where both still rely on hand harvesting and production: one 1000 year old plantation near the Ancient capital of Nara, another is a 700 year old plantation in Gifu, and the third locale, near Kyoto, is an old Imperial Tea Garden (for the private use by the Emperor / Royal Family of Japan only) that has opened up recently to select clients outside of Japan.
In each of these three cases, the Love and Care present in the leaf quality is quite remarkable. And also in each of these three cases, clients of theirs in Europe test the teas rigorously and regularly. And European standards are REMARKABLY HIGHER than those here in the USA. AND, most importantly, in each case the tea is cared for with focus, dedication and Love.
Please purchase these fine Japanese Teas with complete confidence in their seed-grown, hand-made, pristine organic glory.